Petrochemicals giant Sasol and the Department of Energy (DoE) have opened a new Integrated Energy Centre (IEC) for the community of Qunu, in the Eastern Cape.
The R8-million facility functions not only as a Sasol service station but also as a platform to narrow the information divide and disseminate knowledge related to energy to local institutions, households and individuals.
Owned by the Qunu community through a cooperative structure, the IEC will provide all the products and services offered at a service station as well as function as a fully fledged library, information centre and computer room, fitted with ten computers.
The IEC will function as a community information hub and energy shop, sell illumi- nating paraffin, liquefied petroleum gas, candles, petrol and diesel at more affordable prices.
Selling these energy products will assist in job creation through the various participating local small, medium- sized and microenterprises.
Sasol Oil chairperson and Sasol group executive Maurice Radebe says that the Qunu IEC is a catalyst for heightened economic activity in the area.
“We will be satisfied once the IEC becomes an economic hub creating employment opportunities, ensuring access to affordable energy and providing a platform for small business development. The Qunu IEC has huge poten- tial for sustainability,” he says.
Sasol has sponsored and built five IECs, including the Qunu facility, since first partnering with the DoE on the project in 2001.
Located in rural communities identified by the DoE, Sasol IECs are now operational in Caba Mdeni and Qunu, in the Eastern Cape, Moshaweng, in the Northern Cape, Mutale, in Limpopo, and Ratlou, in the North West.